Environmental Reporting Bill introducedEnvironment
Environment Minister Amy Adams has today introduced a Bill that will for the first time provide for legally-mandated independent environmental reporting that will enhance New Zealanders’ understanding about the state of our environment.
The Environmental Reporting Bill will set in law the provision of comprehensive environmental information for New Zealanders that is easy to understand, independent and relevant.
“The Environmental Reporting Bill represents the Government’s commitment to a step change in the way we monitor and report to New Zealanders on the condition of our natural environment,” Ms Adams says.
“This Bill will mandate credible environmental information that paints an accurate picture, so the debate can be about the environmental issues themselves, not about whether the reporting is accurate, comparable or representative,” Ms Adams says.
New Zealand is one of only a few OECD countries that does not currently require independent reporting on the state of our environment.
The Ministry for the Environment has worked closely with a number of agencies during the development of the Bill, including the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
The Bill sets out what information must be reported and when, and ensures the reports are independent and have scientific integrity.
The scope of the reports will be comprehensive, going beyond the current programme of environmental indicator updates. The reports will cover not just the state of the environment, but will also describe the pressures driving environmental trends and the impacts of these trends.
The environmental reporting system will provide New Zealanders with comprehensive information on five key environmental domains - air, climate and atmosphere, freshwater, marine and land, with biodiversity as a theme across all the domains.
One environmental domain report will be released every six months. In addition, a comprehensive synthesis report covering all environmental domains will be released every three years.